Do you want a job where you can set your own hours, do work that you love, interact daily with people in your industry and free yourself from the constraints of the shop or office? Sounds great, doesn’t it? That is why some people go into freelancing. Before you take the plunge, quit your day job, and hang out your shingle, there are a few things you need to know about how to take your freelancing job to the next level.
Be realistic about your hours
Freelancers don’t work traditional hours. When they start out, they work all the hours! When you strike out on your own, you have to gain a good reputation in the industry. This means putting in some long days to refine and promote your product.
Mentorship is important
Freelancers that have older, more established mentors in the industry have access to a wealth of information based on direct experience. A monthly sit down with a mentor to discuss areas of frustration, celebrate achievements and to receive support and advice helps freelancers keep their business (and sanity) in check.
Sustainability is key
You want to grow your business, but growing too fast can shut you down just as easily as growing too slow. You have to pace yourself. If demand for your product takes off, make sure you have the resources and manpower you need. Set goals for yourself and your company. Look ahead to where you want to be and where you can be six months, 12 months and 24 months down the line. Map out what and who you need to get there. Stay a step ahead of your progress so rapid success does not bring you down.
Superman/woman isn’t real
Superheroes have the ability to do many things at once, while never letting the laundry pile up or that call to a friend go neglected; and they do it all while looking good! You are not a superhero. Leave them in the comic books where they belong. You are human and there are days when there will be more work than family time and more family time than work. Decide on your priorities (such as all work stops at 6pm for a family dinner, going to the gym at a set time no matter what, etc.) and rely on your support system for help. You can’t, and shouldn’t do it all.
Networking is more efficient than ever, thanks to social media. Even without a Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn account, however, you can still attend or host events that get people in your industry together. Networking is a key component of meeting new clients and promoting your brand.
Freelancing is a wonderful way to have your dream job and when you step out on your own with a well thought out plan, support, and realistic expectations, you can take your business to the top – and beyond.
We support freelancers and entrepreneurs in every industry by providing accounting services. From tax advice to virtual CFO, we ensure freelancers are aware of their bottom line and how they can increase their profits. Contact us today to learn more.